Metropolitan Life - MetLife

Unclaimed Life Insurance Policy Benefits Search - Demutualization Claims

Metropolitan Life - MetLife


Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, which is owned by its policyholders, into a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by policyholders and government regulators. Mutual life policyholders (and heirs) continue to be entitled to receive whatever policy benefits may be due, but in addition receive stock, cash and/or policy credits in exchange for their ownership interest in the old mutual insurance company.

The amount paid to each policyholder is based on a number of factors, including length of time the policy has been in force, face value of the policy, and total premiums paid. For many policyholders, the windfall arising from demutualization can be substantial. Shares may be sold at any time, without affecting policy benefits.

On April 7, 2000, Metropolitan Life made the conversion from a mutual life insurance company to a stock life insurance company. Over eleven million policyholders became eligible to receive trust interests representing shares of common stock held in the Metropolitan Life Policyholder Trust, cash, or an adjustment to their policy values in the form of policy credits.

Only 25% of eligible policyholders actually voted for the plan, and MetLife Inc. estimates 60 million shares of stock arising from its demutualization - worth $855 million at the time of the IPO and significantly more today - have gone unclaimed.

The Initial Public Offering consisted of 202 million shares priced at $14.25. Eligible policyholders were entitled to receive 494 million shares. Compensation took the form of a fixed component of 10 MetLife Inc. common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. Lost policyholders were to receive cash compensation of $14.25 per share entitlement. In the first year after the initial public offering, the price of a MetLife common share increased 98%.

Several million missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive demutualization compensation. Contact efforts were unsuccessful, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, unreported changes of address , expired postal forwarding orders and non-current beneficiary information.

By law, unclaimed demutualization compensation is remitted to the custody of a government trust account until claimants come forward. Current and former policyholders and their heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed stock and/or cash - should initiate a database search at: Missing Life Insurance Policy Search


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